It is often a well-intentioned notion that after a significant break up, we spend some time alone. At least 6 months, relationship free. Well-intentioned, as we need time to heal, and yet difficult to achieve. Landing instead into another relationship fairly quickly, getting right back into the dating world, re-establishing connections with past partners. If you are engaging in any type of relationship/intimate behaviours, you are not alone.
It is difficult because we are a relationship species and driven to attach; being with someone is where we feel most secure. It is difficult because we are vulnerable and hurt; the attention we get from others can be validating and brings comfort, although temporarily so. If we are engaged in a new relationship, we automatically bring our unresolved issues and feelings with us – and it affects the experience.
Why then, is it important to have that time? If we are meant to be in relationship, then it would make sense to find a new one. So I guess the deeper question becomes do you want to be in a healthy relationship? It is not independence that we ultimately seek – it is interdependence. A healthy relationship will be reciprocal; with both partners invested and contributing to the health of the relationship. In a healthy relationship, we trust to put ourselves in their keeping.
And so, we are much better served to commit ourselves to some time. To allow our focus to solely be on self, our family and friends. Build your time, balance the blues with activity, go to therapy, read self-help books, listen to enlightening podcasts. Find time for the tears, get yourself out in nature, exercise, make sure daily self-care gets attention on your calendar. Pray, journal, be reflective. Find opportunities to laugh. Be the third wheel. When we can be content alone, we learn the value of independence of relationship; setting us up quite nicely for interdependence.
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